Start an online community to reduce SaaS churn
An online community is a great step towards reducing churn and increasing retention. It provides value to customers and they get to know your software better, and thus are more likely to stick.
Mention reduced churn by 22% by connecting and engaging with their users.
Moz is a perfect example of how to create a community that will grow itself. It has a forum, Q&A session, and uses Twitter to engage customers.
ZenDesk provides resources and articles to their audience. Its executives engage with customers on social media to keep them hooked.
How to use the technique
- Select the right platforms. There are several platforms to create and manage an online community. For instance, forum, knowledge base, resource center, YouTube channel, or a Facebook group or a third-party app. Ask your customers what they prefer. Inspect buyer personas. Use our free churn optimization framework to do research like a pro.
- Send invitation. Invite new users who have achieved Aha moment with your app. Send email reminders. It’d be best to add an invitation link in onboarding sequence to make sure minimal users churn.
- Engage the users. It’s all about engagement and building a community where your customers can network. It’s all up to you on how you develop the structure and culture of the community. Make it friendly and less formal.
- Listen. The more your customers speak, the better. See what they're talking about, what their issues are, and what they love about your software. Constantly listen to conversations.
- Share exclusive content. The best way to reduce churn is to share exclusive content (not found elsewhere) with your community. Make them feel special and important.
- Learn and improve. You’d get a chance to learn a lot about your customers from an online community. The data you collect is priceless. Use it to tweak your app and update personas. We have created a step-by-step churn optimization framework that will show you how to use data practically.
Mistakes to avoid
- Selling through online community. Using your community to sell, up-sell, or cross-sell will kill the sole of the community. Don’t use it sell. Use it for engagement and networking.
- Not participating actively. Don’t ignore your community. Lack of participation from your end will ruin everything. Customers won’t take it seriously and lose their interest. Be proactive and participate in discussions.
- Not integrating to your CRM. It’s all about data and information. Integrate your online platform with your CRM or email marketing tool to get better at segmentation and targeting.
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A Harvard study by Reicheld and Schefter highlights the importance of building online communities and the awesome benefits that businesses drive from them. A 5% increase in customer retention will increase profits by 25-95%. The best thing about an online community is that it increases customer retention by developing trust – which, according to the authors, is the ruling force on the internet. Over time, online communities create loyal customers who won’t leave you.
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